Discipleship Ministries– The Rev. Dr. Candace Lewis, Associate General Secretary at Discipleship Ministries and Executive Director of New Church Starts (Path 1), has been named district superintendent for the Gulf Central District of the Florida Conference.
Lewis, who was appointed to the position by Bishop Ken Carter of the Florida Conference, will assume her new responsibilities in Florida on Sept. 1.
“Candace has done a tremendous job of bringing focus and clarity to our efforts to start new places for new people across the church,” said Rev. Junius Dotson, General Secretary (CEO) of Discipleship Ministries. “She leaves the New Church Starts (Path 1) team well positioned to inspire a new wave of church planting across our denomination.
“Although she will be deeply missed here, I’m confident she will lead her district well and be a vital member of the Florida cabinet, just as she has done here at Discipleship Ministries,” Dotson said.
Lewis came to Path 1 as a New Church Strategist in 2009 from New Life Community United Methodist Church, a successful congregation she started with seven people in Jacksonville, Florida. She was named to lead New Church Starts (Path 1) in 2012.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity to be a resource leader to the movement of creating new places for new people at Discipleship Ministries,” Lewis said. “Returning to Florida gives me a chance to go back to the trenches and connect with people outside of the church who are looking for the resources created by Discipleship Ministries. Returning to my home conference to serve with pastors and laity in ministry in the Gulf Central area will be a blessing.”
Bishop Carter said he is delighted that Lewis will be serving as superintendent of the Gulf Central District.
“She is one of the most respected leaders in our denomination, and her expertise in developing new faith communities will be relevant to the churches of her district and of great benefit to all of us,” he said. “We are excited to welcome Candace ‘home’ to the Florida Conference."
An ordained elder in the Florida Conference, Lewis graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications and received a Master of Divinity degree from Gammon Seminary. She completed her Doctorate in Ministry degree in Church Leadership Excellence at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., in May 2014. Lewis also graduated from the Harvard Divinity School’s Summer Leadership Institute on Faith-Based Community Economic Development.
The Rev. Dr. Douglas Ruffle, Associate Executive Director, has been named interim Associate General Secretary and Executive Director of New Church Starts (Path 1).
The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.UMCdiscipleship.org, the Press Center at www.UMCdiscipleship.org/about/press-center or call the Office of Communications at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.